The historical standard bearer of western thought, democracy and civil society, Greece has developed a distinct culture that compels any traveler to learn more. And consisting of sixty inhabited islands with coasts on three different seas, there's more than enough to explore.
There's no shortage of choice when selecting an Athens hostel. But it's often worth finding one in close proximity to the main focus of your trip whether lying on the beach, partaking in the vibrant nightlife, or as is most often the case, given its wonderful history, sightseeing.
Nowhere is Greece's dramatic past more evident than in the capital, Athens, which despite the odd dash of modernity is a series of constant reminders of its ancient past. The Acropolis or Sacred Rock, out of which seems to grow the grand, Parthenon, is a prime example of this.
Other features include the Herodes Atticus Theatre built in 161AD, which provides an atmospheric venue for both historic and modern performances. Similarly, the famous Temple of Poseidon evokes the pride of a once powerful nation.
Further afield in a town called Kerkyra on the island of Corfu; backpackers can also explore other facets of Greek history, with Venetian and British influences blending to offer a menagerie of museums and architecture.
A Taste of Greece
One of the most important explorations in Greece is the food, which complements perfectly the dry heat climate that comes with the high-season. Although cost is likely to be hiked up in more popular tourist areas, it is still reasonable, and bagging a bargain dish away from a generic chain store is often both financially and gastronomically satisfying.
Greek food is a blend of Mediterranean, Turkish and North African influences, while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Generally meat-based, expect lots of colorful vegetables, dips doused with delicate herbs and a good splash of olive oil.
The nightlife in Greece veers between the sophisticated and by contrast, the wildly hedonistic. In the liveliest parts, it is not uncommon for the streets to be packed well into the early hours of the morning, with partygoers as keen to enjoy themselves as they were at the start of the evening, particularly in Athens.
Similarly, the Perouladhes beach on Corfu and the buzzing beaches and rolling landscape of Crete also offer plenty for budget travelers to get their teeth into.
Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for HostelBookers.com, Paul Scottyn stayed in numerous hostels in Athens and travelled extensively in Greece.